Carving tools and tricks

McNall carves

All your resistance to carving polymer will vanish once you thumb through Page McNall’s latest examples of her work and pictures of her tools.

McNall cityscape

Page shows how she often makes silicone molds of her carvings which simplifies creating subsequent similar pieces.

It helps that as a dentist, Page has plenty of access to drills, sharp tools and mold-making materials. She has a painterly way with color that’s stifled at her day job.

Riveting polymer

Riveted bracelet

Calgary’s Susan White has been a jewellery maker for 15 years, transitioning from lampwork and metals to polymer and metals. Her etched copper links are accented with gilders paste.

Riveted earrings

The squares of pearlized polymer are riveted on. Below you can see her earrings with silver tubes riveted in the middle of lentil beads. More links here and here. Have a riveting weekend!

Press-on polymer nails

Wallis press-on nails

Claire Wallis‘ polymer nail veneers provide a clever solution to those who aren’t adept at nail decor. She bakes thin shaped slices on curved foil forms and glues the baked slices onto press-on nails. “I wanted to create polymer clay fake nails but in order to be strong enough they ended up too thick so these are paper thin slices stuck onto fake nails,” she says.

Note: I ran right out and bought some drugstore nails which melted in the oven. Then I made a mold of each size nail which allowed me to make perfectly shaped veneers.

Can you go overboard with this impractical but fun idea? If your earrings match your coffee mug and your nails, your friends may plan an intervention.

See more of Claire’s work on Facebook and on her site here.

Carving a new niche

Smith Sunrise Shields

Oregon’s Roseanna Smith describes herself as “long-time painter; new to polymer clay” and she doesn’t reveal much more about herself on her Flickr site. We’ll have to watch to learn more.

These blue Sunrise Shields are part of her carving exploration and her background as a painter shows through as she layers two opposing Skinner blends together, removing the top layer of polymer to allow the bottom colors to show through.

Her simple shapes harmonize nicely with patterns that like to play hide and seek. She’s going to be fun to follow.

Platypus polymer

Platypus beads

These platypus beads from Lena Fadeeva in Belarus take their shape from the small Australian animal with a distinctive bill.

Such an intriguing shape! Inspiration for new bead shapes can come from unlikely sources.

Lena’s blog is in Russian so you may want to try your own translation (and correct me if I’ve blundered). She’s been sharing her work on Flickr and in her sales gallery for a couple of months and this new direction looks very promising.

Appliqued stories


When PCD first featured Eva Soehjar back in 2008, she mostly painted on polymer. Now she applies minuscule pieces of polymer to create illustrations on the surface of her pendants.

Soehjar - One Fine Day

She tells stories, like this Red Riding Hood, by applying small clay shapes with a sharp needle onto solid colored clay bases.

“I want to make people happy when they see my jewelry,” she says. It’s hard not to smile when you look at her delicate appliqued illustrations and her softly colored florals. Visit her work on Etsy and Flickr and have a happy weekend.

Thinking inside the box

Odd Fae

Sometimes it’s good think inside the box as in Dawn Schiller’s latest polymer OddFae tucked in a 1″ locket. Guru in a box? Consultant in a box?

Dawn cautions, “For the record — If anyone EVER hears me say, Gosh, I’m bored! I think I’ll sculpt a little, tiny, less-than-an-inch-tall oddfae into a copper box! Feel free to whop me upside the head ’til I drop the sculpting tool.”

Check out more of her work in the June issue of PolymerCafe magazine. Her Faemaker book is due out this August. Read about her latest exploits on FaceBook and Etsy.

Polymer chips and tubes

Last time we checked in on Elena Samsonova she was playing with salt and pepper. Now she’s into chips…as in this necklace made from 300 thin polymer chips imprinted with French postage stamp transfers.

Let’s applaud her tenacity. Her story (Moscow to Brooklyn, child psychologist to artist) and her website are full of twists and treats.

My late-night cruise through your websites also netted these story beads from Erin Prais-Hintz. She encircles a tube bead with a familiar saying, favorite lyrics, names or dates stamped into polymer.

Erin incorporates these message beads into wistful Simple Truth pendants, endearing wearable reminders. Erin is part of this month’s Storybook project over at the Vintag blog where they’ll be featuring an interview with her and offering giveaways of some of her pendants.

Surreal Tuesday

Tramps and Glams

Serbian artists Milena Babic and Miloš Samardžic teamed up to share their cubist-like vision in polymer in pieces like this Face Up brooch.

Their Tramps and Glams are their interpretation of silent film stars, charming tramps and other surreal characters. You can see the pictures that inspire them on their blog and some additional pictures on Flickr.

Though the duo has been collaborating since 2008, it looks like they’ve just jumped into the digital pool (FB and Twitter) where you’ll want to watch them. Thanks to Alice Stroppel for the link.